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Top 10 Foods to Lower Your Cancer Risk

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There is no doubt about it, eating the right variety of food does contribute to your overall well-being, but it can also lower your risk for developing serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease and help prevent obesity. While no single food or diet is a magic bullet to keep you cancer-free, eating a healthy diet combined with regular physical activity does lower your overall risk.

Here are my Top 10 Foods for Cancer Risk Reduction

1. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are all brassica vegetables. Although non-conclusive, large population studies suggest that people who eat more raw brassica vegetables have a lower risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and they can reduce the effects of aging.

2. Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant, Lycopene, giving this fruit its rich color. Studies show tomato-rich diets appear to lower the risk of certain types of cancers, especially of the lung, stomach, bladder, cervix, skin and prostate. Tomatoes are the most concentrated lycopene food source, although apricots, guava, watermelon, papaya and pink grapefruit are significant sources.

3. Spinach is known as the "gold standard" of green leafy vegetables. Packed with lutein, vitamin E, and powerful antioxidants, spinach helps ward off cancer of the liver, ovaries, colon, and prostate.

4. Garlic, a pungent member of the onion family, has been hailed for its therapeutic benefits in lowering blood cholesterol and confers protection against cancer development and progression, and boosting general immunity.

5. Berries get their rich color from plant chemicals called anthocyanins. These compounds are super antioxidants. In laboratory studies, anthocyanins inhibited growth of lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells without affecting growth of healthy cells.

6. Pumpkins and carrots—along with red, yellow and deep green vegetables—contain beta-carotene, a vitamin that acts as an antioxidant. Research suggests that vitamin A (from plant sources) is able to alter cancer cells and may prevent normal cells from becoming cancerous.

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I think there are more than just "Ten Top Foods to Fight Cancer". Maybe hundreds more...I've researched close to 400 and the list grows. Why stop with just ten?

November 23, 2011 - 6:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

i like spinach but i don't like smell of brocolli

June 23, 2010 - 9:08am
EmpowHER Guest

you have forgotten probably the most important of all... green tea.

March 18, 2010 - 12:16pm

Thanks Pat. @Anonymous, I'd like more information on the stone fruit research. Will you share?

March 18, 2010 - 3:49am
HERWriter Guide

Great information, Lynette. I especially like seeing hot peppers on the list.

We have a great feature on the EmpowHer site for those who'd like to try some new recipes using these foods. The link below leads to our Recipes - By Ingredient feature, and it has a lot of recipes that incorporate vegetables.

I'd love to hear from anyone who tries one of the recipes. Take care, Pat

March 17, 2010 - 5:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

Stone fruits (plums, peaches, apricots) have recently been shown to have cancer inhibiting properties

March 16, 2010 - 9:13pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.